A week ago, I finished up one of my biggest pet sitting jobs since reintroducing the service to my area five months ago.
The pet owner contacted me on a Sunday morning via my Facebook page. She was in a pinch and needed someone to watch her dog, cat, and two fish for several days while her family went on vacation. Luckily, the morning she contacted me, I was about to post an offer on Facebook that fit her needs.
We arranged a meet and greet appointment for the next day. I brought my pet sitting form attached to a clipboard and a clicky pen in hand. She greeted me warmly at the front door and we began a tour of the house, while I jotted down notes about her pets while she spoke.
I continued my interview by asking questions to clarify her specific requirements. This job would require three half-hour visits a day, with a 20-minute dog walk once a day, and litter box cleaning daily. Both the dog and cat were to be fed once a day but the two fish would be fed twice a day.
I gathered her pets’ vaccination and medical history (something every pet sitter should ask. I learned in a pet first aid class offered by the American Red Cross that vaccination history is important. Recent vaccinations could sometimes cause problems in pets. In the event of a veterinary emergency, the vet would want to know the vaccination history as well.)
I left that day feeling prepared to start the pet sitting job just a few days later.
My first visit was in the afternoon and would include the 20-minute walk. Rosa and I started off at a light run and after a short distance, she was ready to walk. We walked the same path every day.
On my third walk with Rosa, we encountered a young toy poodle. The poodle was chasing an SUV down the street. Rosa went on alert. I called the poodle over to me, tapping my heel and making a kissing sound. The poodle cautiously approached us. When she was within reach, I took hold of her black leash speckled in white paw prints and walked her and Rosa back to my customer’s home. As I left that afternoon, I put the dog in my Jeep and we drove the neighborhood to check if anyone was out looking for a dog. We didn’t find anyone so the dog came home with me that afternoon.
I posted a picture on Facebook and within a few hours, the dog’s owner contacted me by phone and I was able to return the dog to its home.
On the evening visit of my second day, I finally met the cat Abe. He was on the counter when I came back inside with Rosa. He was skittish at first but came over to sniff me. I barely pet him when he went back to the island counter top. He amused himself by rolling around the counter top and knocking to the ground anything in his ways. The markers didn’t stand a chance. It was at that moment I understood why I found stuff lying on the floor in various places.
For two nights in a row, the weather turned to storms. It was clear until the time I had to leave. Then, the thunderstorms rolled in with radiant lightning and growling thunder. That night, Rosa looked at me anxiously. “Please don’t leave me,” Rosa said. But I didn’t hear it. I didn’t even see it at first.
I guided her into the living room and directed her to sit down. She did. As soon as she was calm, I turned and exited the home and drove home. On the way home, it was then I realized she had wanted me to stay with her because I saw what she could sense was coming. The storm.
That night I prayed for God’s protection over the home and the animals and the next morning when I arrived, everything was okay.
As my job ended, I left a gift for the pet owners. On my interview, the owner advised me that her cat could only eat one type of food. Unfortunately, that food came in a small bag and was expensive. I decided to order a sample bag of Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Cats. I left the bag on the counter with a note:
“Here’s a trial bag of cat food. It may or may not work for your cat. If it does, great, contact me when you need to order more. If it doesn’t, you can always donate the rest to the animal shelter.”
I wanted to help and I knew I could through a less expensive food that supplied quality nutrition and greater value.